Home is where your heart is …
This drawing – pencil and then outlined with ink pens – is inspired by the different houses that I have lived in during my 32 years of life on this planet.
Via Curinello: I lived in my parent’s house (top left corner) for the first 19 years of my life, since 1986. From time to time, between adventures, I return there and it’s always a strange mix of different feelings. Even though my deepest fears often resurface when I am there, there is also this unbelievable sense of safety or protection, particularly at night. I spent my childhood and my adolescent years there. This is that place that will always be what I call Home. This is the one that I did not get to choose.
Casa dello Studente: Next, to my first home. The first place where I have decided to live. It is the first student accommodation that I lived in. I spent most of my time in Perugia, 5 and an half years. I probably had the best moments of my life there, including personal growth and loads of fun. I started uni after a terrible incident were I almost died in 2005. When I finally made it to the city I was really lost. But the city and the people that I met throughout the years gave me a new life and in turn I became a new me. Perugia has been my runaway for all that has come in the last years of my life, like a new beginning.
Bishop Mede / Smithfield: On the top right corner, a representation of the two houses that I stayed in, in Dublin, during my break between my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree. It was the first time ever where I bought a one way ticket with only two things in mind. To improve my English and get some experience. It was the year of 2009. Ireland was going through a massive recession but I didn’t care, I just went there. Got a job as a waiter, fell in love with a girl but as always I was too scared of my own feelings and decided to hide them with other stuff. In Bishop Mede I shared a room with a guy from Sri Lanka. Other flatmates were from Brazil and France. In Smithfield, I ended up living with a couple (Spanish and German) and at the end two more Italians but that was not an issue as by then I had a circle of friends.
Rue de l’Aubepine: Toulouse – France. That was during 2010 – 2011, the whole experience can be described with one simple word. ERASMUS!!! Didn’t spend much time in the house but it was a blast! First few months were not amazing due to the uncertainty of my scholarship. But once it was confirmed, I finally unleashed the “raver” that was harbouring inside me. Sleep, eat, rave then repeat was the mantra of most of my weekends. I did few exams at the private school that I was sent to and I also did an internship with an association that was setting up “Eco-Toilets” at various festivals. The accommodation was arranged by the institute. Above me and my flatmate (from Finland) there was an elderly French couple, they were so lovely and they used to invite us for lunch. They wanted us to get the full French experience when in reality, their sons were never visiting them.
Resorts and boats: For a while I worked as a holiday rep. First in Crete, 2008 then in Rhodes, 2010 (both Greek islands). I did it again in Marsa Alam, Egypt, 2012. I moved there and worked on the Nile River Cruises. All of these experience were brief but they have forever been impressed on my mind.
Bordon Walk, Hornsey Road, Arne House, Mossington Gardens, Lambert Road, High Road: I lived in all these houses since I moved to London in 2012. At first, because of the economic uncertainty, I went for a shared room after spending an awful week in a hostel in King’s Cross. I met a guy on the plane to London (yet again a one way ticket). In his hotel I encountered an Italian luggage porter who gave me the number of a person whom I rented my first room from. The second one was only for myself. I rented the whole flat with a Spanish colleague, her sister and one of his friends. Although we found it online, we had an issue after we moved in and I had to use all my southern Italian criminal charm to threaten the agency that I would have organised a squat party and demolished the property if she was not to give us the furniture promised. Arne House was the first and only time that I lived in Zone 1 – Vauxhall. Great area but not so cool flatmate. The house also didn’t have any common areas, apart from kitchen and bathroom. But because there was no dining table, I had to have my meals in my bedroom and could not invite people for dinner. I then ended up in Mossington Garden through a dear friend who was leaving London for good and asked me if I wanted to rent her room. I then moved to the never sleeping Brixton. I rented a flat that some friends had rented previously for 5 and something years. After the Brixton experience I finally managed to live on my own in a tiny studio flat in High Road.
Home is where your heart is, is that true?
Yes, otherwise how could I have survived all these changes without my heart?
It is amazing how human beings adapt to new places and creates new “homes”. It’s part of our survival instinct.